12.11.2023 | 12 Images

Another double MotoGP™ points grab in Malaysia

MotoGP 2023 - Round 18 of 20, Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia – Race

MotoGP closed out the eighteenth Grand Prix of the season with a hot and humid race at Sepang and where GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3’s Augusto Fernandez bagged world championship points for the thirteenth occasion this season thanks to a 14th place finish. Teammate Pol Espargaro was 15th on his GASGAS RC16 in front of a large and wild Malaysian crowd.

  • MotoGP signs-off a lengthy Asian swing of the 2023 calendar with another demanding Grand Prix chase and with GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 pushing the limits of grip and energy in Sepang
  • Augusto Fernandez rides to 14th place after starting from the same slot on the grid and the middle of the fifth row. Pol Espargaro pushes hard to recover from an early setback to obtain 15th position
  • Ryusei Yamanaka delivers 9th place for the GASGAS Aspar Team in Moto3™ as David Alonso DNFs but still sits 3rd in the world championship standings in his rookie season
  • Jake Dixon manages a creditable 5th in Moto2™ for his tenth top five result of the year as Izan Guevara defies pain and discomfort from a Saturday slide-out but fails to make the checkered flag
After a Friday and Saturday of steamy and stuffy conditions race day at Sepang and for the 23rd edition of the Grand Prix at the popular and technical circuit took place in more sunshine. Augusto Fernandez tried to replicate his rapid start from Saturday but also had to exercise caution in the opening exchanges and then tried to implement a solid race rhythm for the duration. He crossed the finish line in 14th. Augusto was pursued by his teammate again but Espargaro was further afield this time. Pushing to the maximum in the heat, Pol also rode well to recover from early race contact with another rider and strived to gain ground. 15th position means a solitary point for his toil.
The Grand Prix of Malaysia is the first episode of the final 2023 triple header run-in. The series and the paddock move west this week to the newly refurbished Lusail International Circuit. The Qatari round means the traditional ‘night’ race for what will be the penultimate fixture of the year.
Augusto Fernandez, 14th: “It was a hard one and I’m not too happy about the race but it was good to be back in the points at least. I feel like our potential was better than 14th. We had a good Quali but could not translate that to the race pace. We have improved the time attacks compared to the beginning of the year but I’ve been struggling a bit more with used tires, so let’s try to analyze and have both aspects working well for the final two races.”

Pol Espargaro, 15th: “An average race, not so good but not so bad. I had contact with Joan Mir in the first laps and I lost a lot of places. I think I was almost last. I started to recover and got back some time. I ended up behind Augusto again for the rest of the race. It was so hot and I felt like my fitness was on the limit for the conditions. Let’s move to Qatar and hopefully a cooler climate where I can enjoy my time on the bike.”
Nicolas Goyon, GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 Team Manager: “Tricky conditions on Sunday. The track was boiling hot so the positive from today was that both our riders scored points. The highlight of the weekend was Augusto coming within a couple of tenths of Q2. Anyway, it was his first points in dry conditions since Catalunya. We knew the heat would not be a positive factor for Pol and getting hit on the first lap did not help but he kept his focus and moved forward. So, not the positions that we were targeting but we’ll refresh and go to Qatar and hopefully cooler conditions to take some better results.”
Results MotoGP Grand Prix of Malaysia
1. Enea Bastianini (ITA) Ducati 39:59.137
2. Alex Marquez (ESP) Ducati +1.535
3. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati +3.562
14. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 +28.940
15. Pol Espargaro (ESP) GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 +29.849
World championship standings MotoGP
1. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati, 412 points
2. Jorge Martin (ESP) Ducati 398
3. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) Ducati, 323
17. Augusto Fernandez (ESP) GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3, 69
23. Pol Espargaro (ESP) GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3, 13
Moto3 and Moto2
Moto3 was disputed through 15 gripping laps of slipstreaming, strategy and relentless position swapping. The wide arcs and lines of the Sepang layout meant for some technical and watchable action and where the GASGAS Aspar Team were aiming to be protagonists once more after David Alonso’s excellent victory two weeks ago in Thailand.
The young Columbian was a little stiff and sore on the bike after his Saturday crash exiting Turn 2 which meant he also had work to do from 21st on the grid. Alonso was able to use the speed and experience of teammate Ryusei Yamanaka as a reference as the Japanese started from 12th place and tried his hardest to slot into the leading pack. Unfortunately, Alonso suffered a highside crash on the fifth lap after powering all the way into the top ten with an attention-grabbing charge. That left Yamanaka to persevere in the second group and the Japanese was able to grab a top ten with 10th, later amended to 9th due to the sanction of another rider.
Two races and 50 points remain on the table for 2023 and for what has been an outstanding maiden campaign for Alonso. He is currently 3rd in the championship standings and still with possibilities of the title while being guaranteed a top six ranking for the year. Yamanka is in 13th place.

Ryusei Yamanaka, 9th: “At the beginning of the race a few riders crashed in front of me and I couldn’t escape the mess. That was unlucky because I lost some time. After that I tried to catch up again but it was difficult because I had a big fight on my hands with another rider. I tried to manage the situation. It was important to finish but we need better results. Qatar next and this is one of my favorite circuits so we will focus on the setup for the race.’
David Alonso, DNF: “A big shame because I was right there with the guys. The tire just broke away too quickly and I couldn’t save it. I want to apologize to the other riders because I ended up in the middle of everything. All I can do now is think about the next race.”
The GASGAS Aspar Team fielded a determined if delicate Moto2 line-up with Jake Dixon and Izan Guevara getting too close to the Malaysian asphalt through the weekend. Dixon went headlong into the 17-lap race from 8th place on the grid and with the goal of chasing the podium as well as enough championship points to consolidate his 3rd place in the table. Jake rode well through the intense heat to confirm 5th. Izan was further back on the grid after toughing-out Q1 on Saturday. The stern Spaniard winced into action but unluckily crashed early on at Turn 9.
Let the lights of Lusail bring MotoGP into the twilight stages of the 2023 series!
Jake Dixon, 5th: “Honestly, after coming from two difficult races and where I had good pace to be in podium positions, to come here and take 5th then I’ll hang onto those positives. It wasn’t easy and we live and learn from our mistakes. I gave 100% today but it wasn’t quite enough. I want to go to Qatar and I want to be back on the podium. I feel that the team and I deserve it and it’s been too long!”
Izan Guevara, DNF: “Not much to say about the race today. I didn’t have the best feeling with the front tire but decided to go for it and to see what I could do. In the end I crashed while upright, which doesn’t make much sense. Anyway, the end of a tricky Grand Prix here where we tried our best and we tried to keep heading in that recent positive direction. We’ll continue the work in Qatar.”
Grand Prix of Malaysia photographs can be found HERE
Results Moto3 Grand Prix of Malaysia
1. Collin Veijer (NED) Husqvarna 33:30.072
2. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN) Husqvarna +0.066
3. Jaume Masia (ESP) Honda +0.328
9. Ryusei Yamanaka (JPN) GASGAS Aspar Team +11.287
DNF. David Alonso (COL) GASGAS Aspar Team
World Championship standings Moto3
1. Jaume Masia (ESP) Honda 246 points
2. Ayumu Sasaki (JPN) Husqvarna, 233
3. David Alonso (COL) GASGAS Aspar Team, 205
13. Ryusei Yamanaka (JPN) GASGAS Aspar Team, 78
Results Moto2 Grand Prix of Malaysia
1. Fermin Aldeguer (ESP) 36:04.378
2. Pedro Acosta (ESP) +7.128
3. Marcos Ramirez (ESP) +9.558
5. Jake Dixon (GBR) GASGAS Aspar Team +11.652
DNF. Izan Guevara (ESP) GASGAS Aspar Team
World Championship standings Moto2
1. Pedro Acosta (ESP), 320.5 points
2. Tony Arbolino (ITA), 243.5
3. Jake Dixon (GBR) GASGAS Aspar Team, 183
22. Izan Guevara (ESP) GASGAS Aspar Team, 20
M: +43 676 6652 742
E: Evangelia.sissis@gasgas.com

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Images (12)

Augusto Fernandez 2023 GASGAS MotoGP Malaysia Sunday
2 649 x 1 766 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Ryusei Yamanaka 2023 Moto3 Malaysia
3 240 x 2 160 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Jake Dixon 2023 Moto2 Malaysia
4 702 x 3 135 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Pol Espargaro 2023 GASGAS MotoGP Malaysia Sunday
4 999 x 3 333 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Augusto Fernandez 2023 GASGAS MotoGP Malaysia Sunday
3 685 x 2 457 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Pol Espargaro 2023 GASGAS MotoGP Malaysia Sunday
4 010 x 2 673 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Pol Espargaro 2023 GASGAS MotoGP Malaysia Sunday
3 222 x 2 148 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Augusto Fernandez 2023 GASGAS MotoGP Malaysia Sunday
3 800 x 2 533 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Augusto Fernandez 2023 GASGAS MotoGP Malaysia Sunday
4 269 x 2 846 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Pol Espargaro 2023 GASGAS MotoGP Malaysia Sunday
4 999 x 3 333 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Augusto Fernandez 2023 GASGAS MotoGP Malaysia Sunday
5 000 x 3 333 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo
Augusto Fernandez 2023 GASGAS MotoGP Malaysia Sunday
4 999 x 3 333 © GASGAS Motorcycles/Polarity Photo


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